Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

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MTPConnect is delivering the Medical Research Future Fund’s $47 million Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The TTRA program will provide a new integrated research program to improve the prevention, management and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (D&CVD) in Australia. Research efforts will focus on the most pressing areas of unmet clinical and research needs in D&CVD, which are leading causes of death and disability in Australia.

The TTRA will:

  • Establish Research Centres for diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Establish a contestable Research Project funding program to support D&CVD research projects
  • Promote the clinical and commercial translation of innovative therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital solutions for D&CVD

The TTRA will stimulate collaboration across relevant clinical, research and industry organisations and leverage strengths across the sector to ultimately produce novel preventative interventions, diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics and digital health approaches and products for D&CVD that reduce the burden on patients, families and communities.

The TTRA will take a national and inclusive approach to working with clinicians, researchers, health administrators, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health groups and consumers.

The TTRA Expert Advisory Board, nominated by the Federal Minister for Health, brings deep expertise around commercialisation, diabetes and cardiovascular disease advocacy, lived experience, clinical and research perspectives and the investment viewpoint to the governance of the TTRA program:

  • Professor Ian Frazer AC (Chair), University of Queensland, clinical immunologist and co-inventor of the HPV vaccine
  • Professor James Best AO, Former Dean, Lee Kong Chain School of Medicine, Nanyan Technological University, Singapore, endocrinologist and diabetes researcher
  • Rebecca Davies AO, Director, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Consumer Representative on the NHMRC Health Innovation Advisory Committee, lived experience of diabetes and heart disease as parent and wife
  • Yasser El-Ansary, Chief Executive Officer, The Financial Services Institute of Australasia, private equity and venture capital industry representative
  • Professor Rachel Huxley, Executive Dean, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, academic, researcher and epidemiologist focusing on chronic disease
  • Professor Garry Jennings AO, Interim CEO and Chief Medical Advisor, National Heart Foundation of Australia 
  • The Hon Judi Moylan AO, former Australian Government Minister, former Chair, Diabetes Australia, Chair of NHMRC Community and Consumer Committee
  • Mike Wilson OAM, CEO, JDRF Australia

The TTRA program is designed to support and incentivise translation as a natural course of activity for those applying and receiving funding. This will be delivered through mentoring and commercialisation advice provided by TTRA partners ANDHealth, Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI), Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) and UniQuest to those applying for and receiving Research Project funding.

Contact Acting Senior Director TTRA Dr Mana Liao for more information.

Our Partners


ANDHealth is Australia’s only organisation dedicated to providing commercialisation support programs designed exclusively for digital and connected health technologies and companies. Our mission is to strengthen the Australian digital health ecosystem and support Australian digital health companies to prepare for institutional investment and international market entry. ANDHealth’s non-equity-taking, industry-led programs actively de-risk digital health innovations across key areas of clinical and commercial validation, providing hands-on support, access to clinical and industry experts, and to global networks. ANDHealth is also a partner on the MRFF REDI Program with MTPConnect.

Visit ANDHealth for more information.

Twitter: @ANDHealthAU

Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI)

Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation, based at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), are one of Australia’s leading health service research centres, with strengths in health economics, implementation science, statistics and data analysis. AusHSI enable health service organisations to make changes that bring about greater efficiencies and improved patient outcomes. By combining leading edge health services research with hands on experience, AusHSI generate practical insights and independent guidance on how to identify, implement and evaluate innovation for real life health practice problems. 

Visit AusHSI for more information. 

Twitter: @AusHSI

The Lowitja Institute

Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, named in honour of its Patron, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG. The Lowitja Institute is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation working for the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples, through high impact quality research and knowledge translation, and by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers.

Established in January 2010, the Lowitja Institute operates on key principles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, a broader understanding of health that incorporates wellbeing, and the need for the work to have a clear and positive impact. It has 12 Member organisations.

Visit Lowitja Institute for more information.

Twitter: @LowitjaInstitut

Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP)

The Medical Device Partnering Program, led by Flinders University, runs an ideas incubator driving entrepreneurial culture within the medtech sector. The Program fosters collaborations between researchers, industry, end-users and government and develops novel medical devices with global market potential. It forms the essential links between clinical need and knowledge with technical expertise and industry know-how. MDPP is also a partner on the MRFF Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) Program and the REDI Program with MTPConnect.

Visit MDPP for more information.

Twitter: @mdpprogram


UniQuest is a leading university-based commercialisation company, managing the intellectual property (IP) of The University of Queensland (UQ). UniQuest has facilitated more than 100 start-up companies built on UQ IP, a milestone unsurpassed by any other Australian university. These companies have gone on to raise more than $776M to take UQ technologies to market. The Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI), a division of UniQuest, is a small molecule drug discovery and development facility translating The University of Queensland and collaborator’s biomedical research into new medicines to deliver faster health benefits. UniQuest is a partner on the MRFF Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) Program with MTPConnect.

Visit UniQuest for more information.

Twitter: @UniQuestUQ